“I’d like to pray with the Scriptures, but I don’t know where to start.”
Sound familiar? In my own life, I tried a lot of things – starting from the beginning, opening to a random passage (commonly referred to as “Bible Roulette”), picking one book at a time – but nothing seemed to stick. I knew that this was God’s love letter to me, and I didn’t want to miss out, but I couldn’t seem to find a method that really spoke to me.
Can you relate?
Below are the steps that have really helped me dive into the Lord’s Word. I have been so blessed through the way that He has not only spoken to me, but has given me His Words to pray for others… which, by the way, are always better than my own!
- Pick a specific time for prayer.
When I decided to get serious in this area I discovered that I was giving God my leftovers when it came to my time. The truth is, we will never have time unless we make it… just like we do for Instagram and Netflix.
For me it’s my kids’ naptime (Which, by the way, is super hard for me to give up). I dedicate my first 12 minutes of naptime (10%) to the Lord through prayer. I set my timer and almost always find myself going over.
For you it might be right when you get home from school or first thing in the morning. Don’t wait until the end of the day or you won’t be able to give the best of yourself!
- Share silence with God.
For the first few minutes just be still. Sharing silence with God is much less intimidating than feeling like I have to fill in the awkwardness. Rather, I recognize His presence and relish in it. It’s just like I am able to do with my husband – we don’t always have to talk, and often we don’t feel the need to. Being together is enough.
- Turn on the iPad/iPhone/etc.
Say what?! That sounds like a terrible idea! Stick with me. I look to Google and type in whatever need I have that day. For example, I might type “Scriptures for not dropping your kids off in a basket outside the fire station patience” or “Scriptures for knowing God’s love.” What are your stresses or worries as a student and teen?
- Grab the real deal.
Once I find the verse, I look it up with my favorite translation. The digital world is great and all, but there is something very hearty about having the tangible Word of God in your hands. Plus, I like to see what my Catholic version has to say!
- Turn off the iPad/iPhone/etc.
Hide it in a couch cushion, put it on Airplane Mode, or do something drastic if you have to. Whatever you do, don’t let the outside world distract you. This is your time with the Lord; your notifications can wait for once.
- Grab your handy dandy notebook.
Now for my favorite part: I write the verse down in my journal (which is just a spiral from the Dollar Store… I’m a high roller. I have a three-subject one with a section for each member of my family plus a one-subject for general prayers/prayers for myself). I am very much a hands-on learner, so I love copying down the Scripture verse and concentrating on every word as it makes its way onto my page. This really helps me slow down and chew on the words without being distracted.
- Break it down.
As for my second favorite part, I like to journal on the Scripture I just wrote. Again, this really helps me to keep from thinking about other things as I put my heart onto paper. It is so amazing to claim God’s Word for specific areas of my life or for those I love. It gives me so much confidence in my prayer when I am asking for God to simply keep His promises. I feel like I can tell Him, “Well… technically… YOU said that… not me.”
Here is an example from my journal:
“Father of the fatherless, defender of widows – this is the God whose abode is holy. Who gives a home to the forsaken, who leads prisoners out to prosperity, while rebels live in the desert.” -Psalm 68:6-7
You have spoken this truth into my life. You have been my Father to the fatherless, given a home to the forsaken, and led this prisoner to prosperity. When I felt unwanted, you loved me without condition. When I was lost and felt abandoned, you were my home. When I was imprisoned by fear, brokenness, and bitterness, you set me free. Lord, help my unbelief. In the moments I forget who You are… breathe truth into my heart. Make yourself known to me. Increase my faith. Thank you for loving me when it doesn’t make sense. I love you, Lord. Amen.”
- Peace out.
When your timer goes off, finish up with a simple prayer of thanksgiving and ask God to remain present, showing you His peace for the remainder of your day.
Give it a try, and let God speak. I promise He will… actually, technically, HE said that… not me:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” -Hebrews 4:12.
Allow His Word penetrate your heart, and let Him do the rest!